James Anderson    Getty Images
James Anderson Getty Images

England‘s tour of Australia, in a bid to defend the Ashes urn, is proving out to be a nightmare. They trail the five-match Test series 0-2, and have been marred with controversies. Firstly, they are without all-rounder Ben Stokes. Stokes was involved in a Bristol-pub brawl incident in September. A decision regarding his participation is yet to be taken. During the first Test, Jonny Bairstow made headlines for an alleged headbutt to Australia opener, Cameron Bancroft. Ben Duckett joined the list as he, representing England Lions in their tour, poured a drink over senior pacer, James Anderson. Anderson played down the Duckett-episode, but insisted the team to remain smart in such incidents for future generation. In addition, Anderson shared the lengths to bowl at WACA (Perth) to dismantle Australia in the third Test.

Playing down the Duckett-controversy

“The incident with Ben Duckett was not malicious and was a bit of a non-event but we understand that in this climate we have to be smarter in the future. The frustrating thing is that what was a pretty silly incident would have gone unnoticed before but now puts an unfair question mark over our culture”, stated Anderson.

‘5 players have gone to visit an England fan who is terminally ill and can’t come for the Test’

“We have been working really hard and every now and then on a tour like this, you need a release. We don’t shout about the things we do behind the scenes. We are not those type of people but, for example, five players from the squad have today gone to see an England fan who is terminally ill and can’t come and watch the Test match. That sort of thing is not reported, which is fine, but is a fairer representation of this group of players rather than a couple of minor incidents in bars that have been blown out of all proportion,” added Anderson.

Knowing Australia’s tendency of sledging, Anderson clarified that he is well prepared to counter any verbal spat in relation to the Duckett-episode.

“I know Australia will use the Duckett incident as a way of goading us, or taking the mickey. Fine. It will probably be funnier than what they have spouted at me so far in this series. They jump on anything to have a go at you so I am expecting a bit of lip. I have no problem with that.”

Responsible towards younger generation

“We are all aware that from now on even a minor incident will be seized upon. There is also a bigger picture. ECB have their sponsors and we have a job as role models to the next generation of cricketers who play this game so we have to stay away from silly things that can be misconstrued.”

Let’s talk cricket now…

“The players have moved on already. Our main focus is getting back in the series. That is all everyone is talking about. The meeting we just had was all about bowling plans, batting plans and how we see ourselves performing in this Test. Nothing is going to distract us from winning here.

As a bowling group we have been buoyed by dismissing Australia cheaply in Adelaide. We know the lengths we have to bowl here, which is a bit fuller, almost an English-style length,” said Anderson.

What you have to keep in mind bowling at WACA, Perth?

“You have to keep an eye on the wind at the WACA and we chatted about that in the team meeting. When Mitchell Johnson played against us here he swapped ends when the wind changed direction and he sensed it would suddenly start swinging. You have to keep the ball in a good condition at the WACA as well because if you can get any sort of sideways movement it can be a great help when allied to the bounce,” concluded Anderson.